Diamond Guides

Diamond Shapes

From their rough form, diamonds are cut into a number of shapes, from brilliant classics like round and oval, to step cut beauties like emerald cuts and asschers. Learn about the many different diamond shapes and cuts, with our illustrated guides to the most popular diamond shapes.

What is a diamond shape?

Diamond shape is the style in which a diamond is cut. In their rough form, diamonds have a very organic shape, so are cut to create the iconic diamond shapes we know and love. The most traditional diamond shape is the round brilliant, and all other diamond shapes are referred to as ‘fancy shape diamonds’, like oval, cushion and princess cuts. Diamonds are cut into two varieties of shapes: brilliant cut, which produce extreme sparkle, and step cut, to showcase exquisite clarity.

Which diamonds shapes are most popular for engagement rings?

The round brilliant diamond is the most popular diamond shape, and has been for some time. Around 75% of engagement rings created globally use round diamonds, and around 60% of Queensmith clients choose a round diamond. Round diamonds are the most iconic diamond shape for engagement rings, and have remained popular throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The next most popular diamond shapes include oval, cushion and pear diamonds. Princess diamonds used to be the second most popular diamond shape, but the shape has been overtaken by the more rounded oval, cushion and pear diamond shapes.

Graph showing the popularity of each diamond shape

The shape of the diamond you choose will have a huge impact on the look of your ring. It’s worth exploring the different, enchanting characteristics each shape can offer.

Joanna | Gemmologist & Design Consultant

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Frequently Asked Questions

About Diamond Shapes

What are the different diamond shapes?

Diamonds can be cut into almost any shape - some diamond shapes are far more popular than others. The different diamond cuts most commonly used for jewellery are:

  • round
  • oval
  • cushion
  • princess (sometimes called square), pear
  • radiant
  • Asscher
  • emerald
  • marquise
  • heart

Alternative diamond shapes are increasing in popularity, like octagonal diamonds. There are also a number of diamond shapes that are typically used as secondary stones in trilogy rings, like trapezoids, baguettes, half moon and trillion cut diamonds.

What is the rarest diamond shape?

Radiant cut diamonds are one of the rarest diamond shapes, largely because demand for radiant cut diamonds is lower than the different diamond shapes. Rough diamonds are usually cut into whichever shape will make the most of the rough. When a diamond cutter comes across a diamond that would suit a square or rectangular shape, they’ll often opt for more popular diamond shapes like princess cuts, cushion cuts or, if the stone has high clarity, emerald cuts, rather than a radiant cut.

What are the biggest looking diamond shapes?

The different diamond cuts that look the biggest are oval, pear and marquise diamonds. This is because an elongated diamond shape, like the oval, has an increased table spread, so will appear larger than a round diamond of the same carat weight. You might find some diamond ring shapes appear larger than others, therefore offering better value for money.

Which diamond shapes are the most unusual?

There are a number of diamond shapes that are considered unusual, particularly when used for engagement rings - like marquise diamonds, asscher cut diamonds and radiant cut diamonds. Diamonds can be cut in pretty much any shape, and unusual diamond shapes like octagonal diamonds are becoming more popular whilst remaining an alternative choice.

How to choose between diamond ring shapes

First, consider whether sparkle is important to you. If so, think about round diamonds or similarly shaped diamonds, like oval or cushion which produce highly intense sparkle. If you prefer subtle flashes of light, think about a step cut diamond, like an emerald or asscher cut. If you want to avoid a round looking stone, look at princess, radiant or asscher diamonds for a more rectangular shape. Other shapes like marquise or pear diamonds are bold and a relatively alternative choice.

Which is the sparkliest diamond shape?

Round brilliant cut diamonds are the sparkliest diamond shape. The round brilliant cut has been perfected to demonstrate perfect 360 degree symmetry, and the optimal facet structure cut precisely, to encourage the most light return from the stone. Other brilliant shape diamonds emulate a similar sparkle, but a round brilliant diamond will always offer the most intense sparkle.

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